How to Troubleshoot Apps Overusing Energy in OS X

by

Even though most developers work their hardest to ensure that the programs you download onto your Mac run smoothly, sometimes, things go wrong. One issue that may arise is an app using an exorbitant amount of energy or memory, causing your Mac to overheat or suffer severe battery drain.

Sometimes, simply closing an app doesn't do the trick. For example, if a program includes a helper tool, that tool may be the culprit. Closing the program may not solve the problem.

We've got a troubleshooting guide for finding out which apps are using the most percentage of processes on your computer.

Check Energy Consuming Apps

If you experience a fast drain on your MacBook's battery, it may be caused by certain programs running in the background. While you may have intended to run something like Spotify, it is possible that you have a program open that you didn't know about.

Apps using significant energy
You can quickly check to see which apps are using a significant amount of energy by left clicking on the battery icon in the upper right corner of your laptop's tool bar. From the dropdown list, wait a few seconds until your Mac finishes collecting power usage information. Any apps that are using a lot of energy will be listed.

You can then find the app by searching in Finder and quit the program. Or, you can right click on the app to open Activity Monitor.

Using Activity Monitor

Sometimes, issues causing overheating come from programs that are overusing memory and CPU. The Activity Monitor provides information on how activities are affecting your Mac based on CPU, Memory, Energy, Disk, and Network.

CPU
The CPU pane can help you identify processes that affect your Mac's performance, battery, temperature, and fan. Click the "%CPU" column to sort percentages and see which apps are using the highest percentage.

CPU
Individual CPU usage should not be very high. Processes should use less than one percent when not actively in use. Most apps that are in use should not be using more than 10 percent, and that is for such programs as content streaming (like Spotify or Plex). If a program is using a large percentage of your CPU (above 50 or 60 percent) it is probably the culprit.

Memory
The memory pane shows how memory is being used on your Mac. Apps using a lot of memory will affect your startup drive. Click the "Memory" column to sort memory usage. If a process is using an excessive amount of memory, it might affect the performance of your Mac.

Memory
Energy
The energy pane shows how much energy is being used altogether, and by individual processes. Click the "Energy Impact" column to sort energy consumption. Processes at the top of the list are using the most energy. If a process seems to be gobbling up more energy than you think they should, even when it is closed, there may be a problem with the program.

Energy
Disk
The disk pan shows the amount of data being written to and read by your disk. It also provides information on the amount of times your Mac accesses the disk to read and write data.

Disk
Network
The network pane shows how much data your Mac is sending or receiving over your network. You can check which processes are sending or receiving the most data from this view.

Network

Quitting a Process

If you've discovered the process that is overworking your Mac, you can quit it from Activity Monitor. Highlight the item by selecting it. Then, click on the X in the upper left corner of the screen.

Activity Monitor
You will be provided with the option to quit the process, force quit, or cancel the action. If you quit a process that that could cause data loss or is being used by another process, it won't quit. Nothing will happen.

Switch Views in Activity Monitor
If you force quit a process that is being used by another application, it may cause a problem with its performance. You can check to see if a process is being used by another program by changing the window view. Select View from the tool bar. Then select "All Processes, Hierarchically" from the dropdown menu. This will repopulate the processes by their main program.

If there's a process that's overusing your Mac's CPU, memory, or energy and you can't quit it without possibly affecting the performance of the main program it is being used with, the best option is to contact the app's developer.

If you experience an unusual amount of overheating and your Mac's fan starts running continuously, or if your battery is suffering an unusual amount of drainage, troubleshoot the problem by checking the Activity Monitor and shutting down processes that are not in use.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
70 months ago
"sudo killall Chrome" is a good way.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple References Unreleased 2020 16-Inch MacBook Pro in Boot Camp Update

Monday October 26, 2020 8:42 am PDT by
Last week, Apple released an update for Boot Camp, its utility for running Windows on a Mac. While this update would typically be unremarkable, several of our readers noticed that the release notes reference an unreleased 2020 model of the 16-inch MacBook Pro. While this could easily be a mistake, the 16-inch MacBook Pro is nearly a year old, so it is certainly a worthy candidate for a...

Google Reportedly Pays Apple $8-12 Billion Per Year to be Default iOS Search Engine

Sunday October 25, 2020 2:59 pm PDT by
The United States Justice Department is targeting a lucrative deal between Apple and Google as part of one of the U.S. government's largest antitrust cases, reports The New York Times. On Tuesday, the Justice Department filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google, claiming the Mountain View-based company used anticompetitive and exclusionary practices in the search and advertising markets to ...

iPhone 12 Pro Allows You to Measure Someone's Height Instantly Using LiDAR Scanner

Saturday October 24, 2020 11:12 am PDT by
iPhone 12 Pro models feature a new LiDAR Scanner for enhanced augmented reality experiences, but the sensor also enables another unique feature: the ability to measure a person's height instantly using the Measure app. You can even measure the seated height of a person in a chair, according to Apple. When the Measure app detects a person in the viewfinder, it automatically measures their...

MagSafe Charger Only Charges at Full 15W Speeds With Apple's 20W Power Adapter

Monday October 26, 2020 3:38 pm PDT by
Alongside the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro models, Apple introduced a new MagSafe charger that attaches to the magnetic ring in the back of the devices, providing up to 15W of charging power, which is double the speed of the 7.5W Qi-based wireless charging maximum. Apple does not provide a power adapter with the $39 MagSafe charger, requiring users to supply their own USB-C compatible option. Apple...

Early iPhone 12 Tests Show Ceramic Shield is Stronger and More Scratch Resistant Than iPhone 11 Glass

Friday October 23, 2020 1:21 pm PDT by
Apple's new iPhone 12 models are protected by a Ceramic Shield cover glass that has nano-ceramic crystals infused right into the glass to improve durability. According to Apple, Ceramic Shield offers four times better drop protection than the glass used for the iPhone 11 models. YouTube channel MobileReviewsEh conducted some tests on the iPhone 12 using a force meter to compare its performance ...

iPhone 12 Six-Foot Drop Test Results: Ceramic Shield More Durable But Not Damage Proof

Monday October 26, 2020 5:00 am PDT by
Apple's new iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro feature a new Ceramic Shield screen that Apple says offers 4x better drop performance. To test that claim, Allstate Protection Plans put the two models through a range of breakability tests and recorded the results. In a face down sidewalk drop test at six feet, the iPhone 12 suffered small cracks and scuffed corners and edges, leaving sharp grooves in ...

Bloomberg: New AirPods and AirPods Pro Coming in 2021, AirPods Studio Delayed, Third HomePod Model Also Possible

Monday October 26, 2020 3:34 am PDT by
Apple plans to update its AirPods line next year with two new models including third-generation AirPods and second-generation AirPods Pro, according to a new report from Bloomberg. The Cupertino, California-based technology giant is working on two new models: third-generation entry-level AirPods and the second version of the AirPods Pro earbuds, according to people familiar with the plans. ...

Report: Apple Silicon iMac Featuring Desktop Class 'A14T' Chip Coming First Half of 2021

Tuesday October 27, 2020 4:14 am PDT by
The first iMac powered by Apple Silicon is set to arrive in the first half of next year and will feature a desktop class "A14T" chip, according to Chinese-language newspaper The China Times. Codenamed "Mt. Jade," Apple's first custom-made desktop processor will be twinned with its first self-developed GPU, codenamed "Lifuka," both of which are being produced using TSMC's 5-nanometer process, ...

iPhone 11 Pro Outlasts iPhone 12 and 12 Pro in Extensive Battery Life Test

Friday October 23, 2020 8:36 am PDT by
Arun Maini today shared a new side-by-side iPhone battery life video test on his YouTube channel Mrwhosetheboss, timing how long the new iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models last on a single charge compared to older models, with equal brightness, settings, battery health, and usage. All of the devices are running iOS 14 without a SIM card inserted. In the test, the iPhone 11 Pro outlasted both ...

Apple Warns MagSafe Charger Can Leave Circular Imprints on Leather Cases

Friday October 23, 2020 3:23 pm PDT by
If you keep your iPhone in a leather case while charging with Apple's new MagSafe Charger, the case might show circular imprints from contact with the accessory, according to a new Apple support document published today. Apple's leather cases for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro are not available until November 6, but a MacRumors reader has already shared a photo of a circular imprint on...